The notorious ex-hockey coach and player agent David Frost is pleading not guilty and in the end, Judge Geoffrey Griffin of the Ontario Court of Justice may decide that, if Mr. Frost did anything, it wasn't criminal.
But the testimony of a young woman here yesterday indelibly marked Mr. Frost at the least as a perverse creep who, she said, had sex with his players' girlfriends, directed them down to the last sordid detail in threesomes and arguably was as interested in seeing his players naked as he was the girls.
The woman, now 28, was testifying about the time she was 16, the new junior hockey team had come to her eastern Ontario town and was the biggest thing in it, and how she went from a being a virgin one month to having sex with her boyfriend and his then-29-year-old coach the next.
Now 41, Mr. Frost is charged with four counts of sexual exploitation involving two of his former charges when he coached the now defunct Quinte Hawks in nearby Deseronto, Ont.
The allegations are rooted in the fact that as the coach, he was in a position of trust or authority over vulnerable then-teenagers. Comparable charges relating to the girls, including the woman who testified yesterday, were withdrawn because Mr. Frost wasn't similarly a figure of authority to them.
The case is further complicated by the fact that the two players, who can't be identified because of a mandatory publication ban, are not being called by prosecutors and apparently deny anything happened, and because the then-girls who allegedly participated admit, as did yesterday's witness, that the sex was consensual.
As Mr. Frost's lawyer, Marie Henein, told the judge earlier in the trial, "The defence is, it [the threesomes with Mr. Frost]did not happen," and to that end, she yesterday conducted a relentless cross-examination.
The name of the young woman, now 28, was included in a sweeping publication ban proposed earlier by prosecutor J. Sandy Tse, who argued that because all the alleged participants were young people, their names should be equally protected. A lawyer for The Globe and Mail argued against the ban, ultimately persuading Judge Griffin not to issue it. But while the newspaper fought to uphold the open-courts principle, editors have decided not to identify the young woman beyond her first name, Kristy.
Ms. Henein attacked the young woman on what were mostly minor inconsistencies in the various statements she gave police; over her delay in handing over her diary; and by suggesting that she was in cahoots with another young woman to bring down Mr. Frost, particularly after Mike Danton, one of his former players, then with the St. Louis Blues, was charged and later convicted in a bungled plot to have Mr. Frost killed. Mr. Danton remains in jail in New Jersey.
But the lawyer's interrogation of the young woman, who held her ground on the essential points of her evidence, also served to show that she remains to this day an older version of the shy, easily led teenager she was when Mr. Frost came to town.
Her evidence rang probably particularly true to female ears: Any woman who was once a girl eager for approval, uncertain of herself and sexually inexperienced would have heard something familiar.
She and the hockey player she called her boyfriend, for instance, never went anywhere.
She and the other girls who went to the hotel where Mr. Frost and some of the players lived during the season went only when invited - it sounds as though they were effectively ordered up to the room, like pizza - and would either watch hockey or bad movies and then have sex.
The player was her first lover, she said, and she knew so little about sex she couldn't tell when he ejaculated. After about a month, her best friend, who was going out with one of the players who lived at the hotel, told her that a third girl had had a "foursome" with two players and Mr. Frost, and that her boyfriend also wanted her to do "a two-on-one" with the coach.
This girl, in the eternal faux sophisticated manner of teens, told her friend "it could be a good experience" but said she had to decide for herself. Soon, her boyfriend was asking her to do it, too, and ultimately, she was "finally convinced to go through with it."
Mr. Frost, she said, had already encouraged her boyfriend to try new positions with her and once, when he found out they hadn't followed through, Mr. Frost said "he would come in and help [us]do the top position when [her boyfriend]was ready. ... I didn't want him to, I guess I was shocked over it." But she didn't say anything, she said, "because I never said anything, because I was the quiet one."
By then, she really liked her boyfriend and had figured out that if she wanted to keep seeing him, Mr. Frost had better like her.
By the time she and the boy got to the hotel suite that night, it was in darkness, and she either heard Mr. Frost's voice, and knew he was the other man, or she realized it when, as directed by her boyfriend, she undressed and got down on a mattress on the floor and found Mr. Frost already there.
She was on all fours, Mr. Frost underneath her, her boyfriend behind her, and Mr. Frost was asking her to say "how I liked it, faster or slower."
The next month, the boyfriend insisted he wanted her to do it again as a birthday present. She agreed; this time, she said, he and Mr. Frost just took turns having intercourse with her. She remembered that Mr. Frost had shaved his pubic area and how he scratched her. When it was over, "Dave said I must have came a lot. I didn't even know what that meant."
As for that turquoise-coloured diary, the young woman said she was reluctant to turn it over to police because it was so embarrassing. She gave it to them only after the charges involving the girls were withdrawn; until then, she said, she had believed that other people would come forward.
At the back of the diary, she kept a list of all the dates she and her boyfriend had sex, for example, "2X" meant they had made love two times. When Mr. Frost took part, she would write "3X -1", the minus one because "I didn't want to count Dave."
A year later, her best friend was living in Brampton with her boyfriend, other players and Mr. Frost. The girl complained that she and the boy hardly had sex any more without Mr. Frost.
"How bad was I used last night?" she asked.
It was, as the young woman now understands, a rhetorical question.